People know that Outdoor Towns work, so there are already loads of partners and resources that can help your community succeed.
Planning is a central component to any Outdoor Town initiative. Many grant programs give preference to projects that have been developed through a public planning process. This demonstrates that your community has been engaged in developing the plan for the project and supports it. Start by reviewing any existing plans that may have laid the groundwork for your efforts. You may find part of the work has already been done. Use the Planning Inventory Form to keep track of plans that are relevant to your work.
Understanding the requirements of funding programs will help you to plan for your projects. Finding the Green, A Guide to State Funding Opportunities for Conservation, Recreation, and Preservation Projects is an excellent resource compiled by the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition. Review the guidelines for grant programs that may be pertinent to your work.
Conduct outreach to prospective partners to gather information, guidance and support. Ask partners how they can help provide assistance to you for public input meetings, community assessments, planning and project implementation. Public agencies are in the business of helping communities. Contacting them is one of the smartest things you can do to help your initiative.
Summarize findings – Once your Team members have completed the initial outreach to prospective partners and reviewed relevant plans, they should submit a written summary of the information they gathered and contacts they made. This is prime fodder for the second Action Team meeting.
Hold a Team Meeting to Review Findings and Plan for a Community Input Meeting
Suggested agenda items for the Team meeting include:
- Review of pertinent information found in existing plans (see Planning Inventory Form).
- Review of contacts made with perspective partners and offers for support.
- Review the communications strategy developed to get the word out about your work.
- Who do you need to reach?
- What actions do you want people to take?
- What are your key messages?
- Plan your first community input meeting (see Step 3)